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a good deal on wine. So when he was recently suggested a comparison be- tween wine pricing and his company’s cost structure—he readily admits it is not the industry low—he ran with it. “A good buyer throws out the high


MGIF’s Management Mantra R


Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry plots its survival by operating according to a central rule: only take jobs it can keep.


Shea Gibbs, Senior Editor


obert Peaslee, a third genera- tion president of Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry (MGIF), Manitowoc, Wis., loves wine. Particularly, he loves finding


Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry Manitowoc, Wis.


Metals Cast: Gray iron, ductile iron, compacted graphite iron, high-silicon-molybdenum iron, austempered ductile iron.


Molding Process: Green sand.


Markets Served: Off-road automotive, agricul- ture, construction, mining, pump, valve.


and the low quote and looks at the next two or three,” Peaslee said. “You don’t want the $50 bottle or the Two Buck Chuck. But somewhere in between, there is a reasonable bottle of wine that is about $10-20, and it’s perfect.” Peaslee hopes his customers feel the


same way, and judging by the com- pany’s success over the past decade—it had close to the best year in its history in 2008 and is now gradually climbing back to those levels—they do.


Everything as a Profit Center One of the strategies MGIF has


used to stay successful over the years is to view every facet of the company as a potential profit center. If Peaslee sees raw material prices trending in the right direction, for example, he’ll purchase an excess and warehouse it until he can make castings out of it at a higher margin. “Workman’s compensation—that’s


[another] profit center,” Peaslee said. “[And] spending money on safety is one of the best returns on investment you can make.” It’s this strategy that has led to signifi-


cant changes at MGIF over the past 12 months. In mid-2009, the metalcaster, along with two others in Wisconsin, signed onto the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Save Energy Now (SEN) program. The goal of the national em- phasis program is to contract with busi- nesses in power-intensive industries to reduce their energy consumption by 25% in 10 years. “We’ve invested a lot of money in


MODERN CASTING / November 2010 Size: 75,000 sq. ft. Employees: 72.


energy saving projects at MGIF and have nearly reached our goal already,” Peaslee said. According to the parameters of the


SEN program, DOE will help busi- nesses fund only projects that have a return on investment of one and a half to four years. So Peaslee expects the improvements the company has made (estimated at about $500,000) to become a profit center in short order. “Think about how wonderful sav-


ing money is,” Peaslee said. “You don’t have to add people or increase revenues to add to your bottom line. Anything that saves you money is a


profit center. Anything you can do to reduce costs will keep you more com- petitive, and you can maintain a profit margin without raising prices.” MGIF has made the following capital


improvements, the last of which was completed in early August: • Frequency drives, which control de- mand, were installed on the facility’s sand muller, dust collectors and air make-up units.


• A green sand dust recycling system was installed to reduce scrap, save bond and improve casting yield and surface finish.


• Lighting was updated in all plants. • Motion detectors, which turn lights on and off in low traffic areas, were installed.


• A compressor study was conducted to optimize the company’s air re- quirements, and a plant-wide header system was installed, along with a frequency drive compressor.


• Dust collector after-filters, which al- low air to be returned to the plant, were installed.


• A new automatic molding machine, which reduces scrap and increases casting yield, was added to the com- pany’s molding capabilities.


MGIF’s coreless induction furnaces help the company reach its energy goals by eliminating hold power on weekends and holidays.


31


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